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WASHINGTON — Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., has been elected chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. It's the second time the 74-year-old dean of the Minnesota congressional delegation has served as the leader of the agriculture panel, first serving from 2007 to 2011. Since 2011, he has been the ranking member of the committee and played a key role in passing the farm bill late last year, as well as in previous years.
BISMARCK - Three deer taken during the 2018 North Dakota deer gun season have been confirmed positive for chronic wasting disease, the Game and Fish Department said Friday, Dec. 21. While two of the positive deer were taken in Unit 3F2, an area of southwest North Dakota known to have CWD, the third was taken from Divide County in deer Unit 3A1 of northwest North Dakota, an area previously considered free of CWD.
RICE, Minn. - The burned remains of an 86-year-old Rice man were discovered Monday afternoon in a field he was burning, Stearns County authorities said. The Stearns County Sheriff's Office said Edwin Opatz of Rice was burning pastureland earlier in the day, Dec. 17, citing its preliminary report. Opatz's body was sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. The Stearns County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal's Office are working with the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office to determine an exact cause of death.
PALERMO, N.D. - A western North Dakota man was killed when his clothing became engaged with a farm implement on Saturday, Dec. 15, the Mountrail County sheriff said. Craig Wienbar, 64, was grinding feed for his livestock early afternoon when the incident occurred. Another man at the scene immediately shut down the tractor and called 911. Wienbar was pinned between the power take-off shaft and the hitch of the feed grinder. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was scheduled for an autopsy in Bismarck, the sheriff's office said.
AVON, Minn. — The couple who died after their horse-drawn buggy was struck by a pickup Sunday, Dec. 16, in central Minnesota have been identified. The victims were identified as Robert Alois Keppers, 72, and Mary Joan Keppers, 66, of Avon, about 16 miles west from St. Cloud. The Ford F-150 pickup was driven by Mark Lucas Knapp, 23, of Avon.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum appointed Michelle Kommer to lead the state Department of Commerce, the governor's office said Tuesday, Dec. 11, after the agency's previous head resigned because he sent an inappropriate email to staffers.
A wild deer shot Nov. 17 southeast Minnesota’s Houston County has been identified as presumptive positive for chronic wasting disease, the Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday, Dec. 5. Official confirmation will come later this week. The hunter has been notified, and the DNR is making arrangements to pick up the meat and carcass. It is the first detection of the neurological disease in Houston County since testing began in 2002.
ADA, Minn. — A woman was killed in a farm accident near Ada on Friday, Nov. 16. Katie Vilmo of Ada was killed when she was pinned by a hay baler. She was flown to a Fargo hospital and died the next day. She is survived by a 3-month-old daughter and husband, Mike Vilmo.
Andy Dombeck and his father, Mike Dombeck, are both conservation farmers who want to protect the land and water for future generations. As one of the results of their efforts, both their farms are now Water Quality Certified Farms, meaning they've met the standards of Minnesota's Ag Water Quality Certification Program. Their farms join more than 660 farming operations that are now certified under this four-year-old Minnesota program, which recognizes farmers' efforts to protect water quality.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Board of Animal Health reported Thursday, Nov. 1, that it has identified H5N2 low pathogenic avian influenza in a Stearns County turkey flock in central Minnesota, making it the second case found in Minnesota this season. The low pathogenic avian influenza was detected in nearby Kandiyohi County turkey flock on Oct. 19.